What Ending Did You Get? What Did You Think? (Obviously Spoilers)

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xanadu

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#1  Edited By xanadu

I don't see any spoiler threads and wanted to know peoples reactions to their particular endings. I played a masculine V and romanced Panam. At the end I chose for Johnny to take over and team up with rouge. It seemed to make the most sense to me as Johnny kept harping to it as a suicide mission and involving any love interests might not end up so well. Johnny/Rouge's part of the ending I'm totally ok with. What I don't get is why the game then decides for you to not leave with Panam (apparently this is the ending you get if you decide to bring her into the final mission) and apparently do a cool heist in space for that sweet street cred. Im fine with consequences for my choices but these repercussions don't make sense and it also takes away the ability to even make a choice with your love interest. Overall I liked the game but I wish the ending felt more in canon with the choices I made with V throughout the game.

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bigsocrates

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I haven't read what you wrote because I am planning to go back to the end of game save and do a few more endings myself just to see what they are.

I chose to go with Arasaka at the end because I figured that they would betray V. and I didn't want to surrender to Johnny or put Panam in danger (my other two choices) but wanted to take them on myself. There was the betrayal, but not by Hanako by Yorinobu. You rescue Hanako from Yorinobu with Anders' help, go see her dad who is in Mitoshi, and then after the board meeting where Saburo tells the board to follow Hanako Yorinobu attacks and you end up fighting off his goons and then going after him. You fight your way to Adam Smasher, defeat him and get the choice to kill or spare him (Johnny is gone for the whole section after you make the decision but you can kill Adam in his honor) and then confront Yorinobu who makes a self-pitying speech before Hanako arrives and cradles him. You go with Anders who takes you to an orbital Arasaka station where they remove the chip. Before you wake up on the station there's an interlude with Johnny where he calls you a sellout asshole for your choice. You go through a long sequence where you get a lot of tests done by a detached female doctor and find out that Saburo has taken over Yorinobu's body from some newscasts. Then you get to call your buds one last time and then after some more tests Anders arrives again and tells you that the chip removal was a success but you are dying from the results and you can either go back to Earth and live out your next 6 months there or you can go to Mitoshi. I chose to die on Earth and you take a shuttle home. The game shows you in third person there. All your buds leave you some nice video messages.

In terms of what I thought about it...

The part up to the confrontation with Yorinobu and Adam Smasher was pretty good, although I had some bugs (including during the big fight with Adam Smasher where he bugged out and I just pumped bullets into his head while he glitched in midair until he died) which wasn't great.

Once I got to the station I thought it got a little boring. There's a creepy vibe and a color filter and there's an implication that you might actually already BE in Mitoshi (since Anders' last words on Earth are that it's ironic for someone to end up becoming their greatest enemy...literally, though he's talking about Yorinobu not V.) There are some jump scares and things that turn out to be dreams. But the sequence drags and kind of bored me because of the repeated tests and the sterile environment and lack of interactivity. Also the game lasts like 20-30 minutes after the last boss in one location, which is long and felt self indulgent. The actual ending itself and its choice felt pretty fair and even good. I chose to work with Arasaka and everything Arasaka touches turns to shit one way or another. It's a strong commentary on the world of Cyberpunk 2077. I am curious about the other endings and will play through them then comment here again, but I was satisfied with the consequences for my actions and I think it was a strong and memorable choice that made sense in the context of the characters and the world.

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Efesell

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I opted to go with Panam and I'm pretty happy with the tone of that but the ending I wanted was You and Johnny Tear Shit Up Alone Fuck Yeah but I picked incorrectly on some arbitrary dialogue choices.

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BladedEdge

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@efesell: That ending, I am told/saw a video of anyhow, requires at the final choice on the roof-top for you to pick the "Go with Rogue/Johnny" dialog at first, but then don't confirm anything past picking that. Johnny will then suggest the solo mission after a set amount of time has passed. Where in, if you die, credits roll so save often.


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Efesell

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@bladededge: Near as I can tell it requires a Good but Not Too Good relationship with him throughout the game AND you have to choose very specific options during Chippin' In to trigger.

I had the relationship but picked different dialogue options and I couldn't get it to happen.

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BladedEdge

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To give my own take on the ending, since we are in spoilers territory I feel like I can say this. Screw whoever decided to make every single ending sad. You spend the entire game with the drive being "Save the life of your main character" and in every single ending, V has at most 6 months to live, if that.

The entire crux of the games main narrative is to try and save V's life, and in no ending of the game can you actually do that. They set up the player to expect at least one of the endings to have a happy outcome, and preform a spit in the audience assuming such's face by giving us none. I am -very- strongly in the camp that if your gonna present a choice-driven player-focused narrative where I am spending dozens of hours working towards a goal, only during the final few minutes tell me "Nope, you were always gonna fail" to be shit writing and a middle finger to your players/readers.

As far as I am conserning, cyberpunk can go jump off a cliff in terms of being worth my time. "Grimdark for sake of grimdark" is so 90s comic book era trash-tier writing, (Can you tell I have no hope of the Snyder cut being any good?). To hold off any "But its a dystopia/cyberpunk is often depressing" reactionary response to my take, also let me just say this; I don't have a problem with depressing/sad endings.

I do however think there is the promise of providing players with the chance at a happy ending implicated in genre of game cyberpunk is, in its marketing, in much of the story building up to the twist. More over, its a game with multiple endings, that not even one is a "We can save V's life" is a direct choice on the part of the devs, after all the unspoken promises brought about by what I said above. That, to me, is where the bulk of my complaint lies.

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BladedEdge

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@efesell: Ah yes. There is some dialog in that specific quest that you have to pick. I only skimmed the video (My post following up what I said too you explains why if you care) after I'd given up caring about spoilers to see what other options were.

AFAIK all the other endings are simply at that final dialog on the roof and nothing you did before hand has any impact on what you can/can't choose, excepting that you need to complete Panam's side-quest chain to get to pick that option. The full solo/secret ending is unique in that regard.

Also, now that I think about it, boy that sucks huh? Only a single side-characters quest chain effects the endings you can get and the one you might really want if you want all of Johnny's ending is the only one connected to some very specific dialog.

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Efesell

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#8  Edited By Efesell

@bladededge: There is also a path for if you save Takemura.

Panam's ending has a bit more hope in it, I find. But otherwise I like that most of the ways you end up are kind of bittersweet. Night City's a rough place and the best case for people like V is to shine bright and go out on your own terms.

If there was an ending where V lived happily ever after with all their friends with no qualifiers I'd be like.. well this doesn't fit with anything in this game at all.

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bigsocrates

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@bladededge: That's interesting because I never saw the game as offering a happy ending and in fact I think any happy ending would have been kind of a cop out (I wouldn't have minded if there was one for people who wanted it but I would have thought it was a significant compromise.)

Nothing in the game actually goes well. Your intro you end up getting dicked over. Then in Act 1 Jackie dies. Evelyn dies horribly after being abused and tortured. Then in the Peralez mission there's no good option. Then Scorpion dies along with other nomads when you're helping Panam. Even Johnny for all his bravado didn't end up doing anything serious to Arasaka and ended up their prisoner.

The game says again and again that there are no happy endings. I guess River's story comes closest but he ends up kicked off the force and his nephew is traumatized.

I never thought I could save V. The only people who even have a remote chance are Arasaka and they aren't trustworthy (though in the end Arasaka does make a good faith effort to help V. if you work with Hanako, as far as I can tell.)

My understanding from reading some spoilers is that it's possible for V. to go run off and live in Cyberspace, and he can go live forever in Mitoshi, but how would it even be possible if you're just working with Johnny or the Nomads for them to help him?

I think the game comes by its ending choices fairly. V. died when Dexter shot him in the head, but he gets to live out some of his life, make some memories, become a legend in Night City, and go out on his own terms to some extent. That's kind of a happy ending in a world that's all shades of gray.

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Efesell

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Man, I really liked the Peralez mission.

I sat on that bench at the end for a long time knowing damn well that there wasn't shit all I could do for this dude but it was still tough.

Then Johnny hammering in the nail after. "He's Fucked, V."

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BladedEdge

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@bladededge: That's interesting because I never saw the game as offering a happy ending and in fact I think any happy ending would have been kind of a cop out (I wouldn't have minded if there was one for people who wanted it but I would have thought it was a significant compromise.)

Nothing in the game actually goes well. Your intro you end up getting dicked over. Then in Act 1 Jackie dies. Evelyn dies horribly after being abused and tortured. Then in the Peralez mission there's no good option. Then Scorpion dies along with other nomads when you're helping Panam. Even Johnny for all his bravado didn't end up doing anything serious to Arasaka and ended up their prisoner.

The game says again and again that there are no happy endings. I guess River's story comes closest but he ends up kicked off the force and his nephew is traumatized.

I never thought I could save V. The only people who even have a remote chance are Arasaka and they aren't trustworthy (though in the end Arasaka does make a good faith effort to help V. if you work with Hanako, as far as I can tell.)

My understanding from reading some spoilers is that it's possible for V. to go run off and live in Cyberspace, and he can go live forever in Mitoshi, but how would it even be possible if you're just working with Johnny or the Nomads for them to help him?

I think the game comes by its ending choices fairly. V. died when Dexter shot him in the head, but he gets to live out some of his life, make some memories, become a legend in Night City, and go out on his own terms to some extent. That's kind of a happy ending in a world that's all shades of gray.

You can absolutely read into the narrative like that, nothing wrong with seeing it that way. To my mind though? The game only really starts after V is shot, after the title screen. From that point on the drive is to find a way to save V's life, the entire narrative focus, at least as I, a player who likes fighting against the odds and grasping victory from the jaws of defeat, played my version of V.

What your describing is a valid version of the story, but its also the only one that actually works. They marketed this as a game where your playing a custom made character, where you tell your own story, where you can influence the narrative and roleplay to some extent and besides all of that, its marketed as any other first person action rpg, Fallout or Outer Worlds or Skyrim or so on. There active choice to stick me into a first person view-point, making me feel like my character is another choice on their part that had the unwritten/spoken promise of a happy ending. Or, an ending where the goals I was pursuing were actually achievable.

But like, as you said, I'm not looking for all the endings to be happy. I just feel by not putting even a single ending that does, they spit in the player's like my's face. There is a world where V was marketed as being and always meant to be a set character. Much more like Geralt in terms of having a set history, outlook and the like. There is a world where the narrative drive is meant to be V trying to make the most of the time he has left, not despair and rail against his unchangeable fate, and ultimately fail completely even so. That isn't at all the game we got however to my way of seeing it.

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BladedEdge

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@efesell said:

@bladededge: There is also a path for if you save Takemura.

Panam's ending has a bit more hope in it, I find. But otherwise I like that most of the ways you end up are kind of bittersweet. Night City's a rough place and the best case for people like V is to shine bright and go out on your own terms.

If there was an ending where V lived happily ever after with all their friends with no qualifiers I'd be like.. well this doesn't fit with anything in this game at all.

My understanding of that ending is it only switches out who shows up at a certain point in the story, there is no other difference between it and the Arasaka branch of 2 possible endings.

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BladedEdge

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@bigsocrates:Ultimately I should add. My issue is one broader then Cyberpunk itself. My opinion is subjective, for sure. Though I do take a hard stance about the implicated promises made with the type of game, the genre and marketing and etc. I think there is a world where I went in/all along thought I was playing a game where the end goal was to stick it to Arasaka and go out in a blaze of glory where I'd love the games writing/narrative to pieces. Its that I was made to be so strongly invested in the exact opposite kind of story where the issue ultimately lay.

Also, my version of good cyberpunk/fiction in general tends to be of the "Happy endings over sad" version. I know for a fact ShadowRun has names for those two types, something like "Shades of Grey/Dark" and "Pink Bubble Gum" cyberpunk style (i wish I recalled the exact names for that). I don't think either way is invalid. This has just been my first real chance to vent my thoughts about cyberpunk anywhere online, so I come off pretty strong when I don't actually mean to be invalidating your view of things.

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bigsocrates

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@bladededge: In terms of the marketing...I won't disagree with you at all. It's pretty misleading. The game offers basically no substantial choices outside of the ending and what side quests to pursue. I guess you can piss people off to the point of no return, but it's not at all like Outer Worlds, where on every planet you make a series of choices that have big effects on the world and the people in it.

I understand what you're saying about the first person thing, but I also feel like they tipped their hand by pairing you with Johnny Silverhand, the patron saint of lost causes. Johnny has a lot of anger and drive but zero ideas on how to accomplish his goals to the point where "blow stuff up" is his only solution to basically any problem. He often tells V. not to do something and when V. is like "do you have a better idea" Johnny is like "no, but still."

And the reason I think the game broadcasts "no good ending" is again because how would it even happen? The only people you meet who know anything about how to deal with the chip are Anders and Alt. When you first meet Anders he's like "I can give you the name of a good place to die in Switzerland." Alt is pretty disinterested in you and your situation and even if she cared she was never a hardware person or a doctor, she's a netrunner turned AI. All the other rippers you meet are like "Sorry, bro, but you are screwed."

What would a happy ending even look like without being narratively ridiculous? Basically Arasaka turning all its resources to helping you, but Arasaka sucks and even they didn't know how to make the chip work properly.

I get what you're saying about it being frustrating that the game gives you a goal in the first person and makes it impossible to achieve that goal. That's a fair critique. I guess from my perspective the game foreshadows this because nobody gets what they want in Night City.

Part of this may come from me being a pre-existing fan of the IP, and knowing that nobody ever gets a happy ending in Night City, especially not when their spirit animal is Johnny Silverhand of all people.

@efesell: The whole Paralez mission line was fantastic. The River stuff was good too. I wish the game had leaned more into that kind of interesting roleplaying stuff and cool cyberpunk conspiracy stuff instead of spending so much time on combat and basic stuff we've seen from a billion games like "break into the facility to get the plans for the parade security, which they don't change even though someone broke into one of their facilities and killed 30 people and clearly messed with their computer."

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BladedEdge

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@bigsocrates: Oh yah, if your a big fan of the IP then perhaps that is what I was missing. The concept of no one getting a happy ending in Night City, of Johnny SIlverhand being the patron saint of "no happy endings." was not known to me.

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bigsocrates

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@bladededge: No worries. I get where you are coming from. There is something frustrating about a game giving you a goal and asking you to invest 40+ hours of your life pursuing it and it turning out to be impossible. I've had that in other games and been frustrated with it so I know the experience well.

I do think in the game's slight defense that it tries to impress who Johnny is throughout the game. He is always talking about going out in a blaze of glory and how it's better to die fighting for what you believe in then to fade away etc... And that's what he represents in the IP. He is not the guy you follow if you want to fix the chip in your head and go raise a bunch of nomad babies with Panam.

But yeah the game was marketed as the kind of game where you get to make whatever fate you want in Night City and it's not that at all. It's much more like a JRPG in its storytelling up until the very end and the decisions you make there.

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Efesell

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Rivers ending is so oddly heartwarming considering how fucked his questline is. He's a potential romance option for ladies and his family cookout at the end is so wonderfully awkward especially if you are not at all into him like that.

But it just leads to a really nice moment drinking beers on top of a tower and bullshitting about nothing.

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bigsocrates

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@efesell: You can try to kiss River if you're a dude too although apparently he's not into that. I never felt any romantic frisson between River and male V. so I didn't try anything with him.

I feel like it's strange that the romance options in this game are so gender coded when it seems like it should be much more fluid given how far it is in the future. But that might just have been stuff that was cut for time.

It's also really strange that you can't change your appearance at all. Not even hair or eye color or whatever. There are games set in ye olden times where ye canst at least geteth a haircut.

Immortals: Fenyx Rising allows for full recustomization but Cyberpunk, a game about body modification, doesn't give you the option to shave.

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Serryl

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I finished the game with:

  • Male V
  • No romances
  • Johnny & Rogue in Arasaka tower
  • Johnny sacrifices himself to save V

I dug the parasitic/mutualistic relationship between V and Johnny and wanted them both to survive, but I also felt like Johnny already had his time and had become an NC legend. He was still an asshole by the end but one who I thought was ready to let go.

I liked the broad strokes of my ending, but I was confused on the specifics after Johnny enters Mikoshi. I thought Alt said:

"Oops! V's body is too far gone so he'll die no matter what we do"

...but then it was suddenly Johnny's choice, because the body belonged more to him at that point.

So is the body in the verge of death or not? If yes, who cares who makes the choice? Also, how would there not exist cyberware to repair V's body once the relic is removed?

Then Alt said something like:

"If Johnny sacrifices himself, V will go back to how he used to be"

...at which point, I became even more confused about the state of V's body. Then it's months later, and V is alive but still coughing blood and is preparing for one last heist. So.... he's still doomed?

It felt like the writing got fast and loose in that last scene, but it still landed for me emotionally. I look forward to replaying the game when they eventually release the current gen console versions.

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zaccheus

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The whole end thing was bad for me. None of the choices seemed to make much sense and I lost connection witht he game and the characters. I ended up going with Panam and then let Johnny take over V's body when it was told to me out of nowhere that is V get's the body she will die withing 6 months because the chip has already made the body Johnny's.

I already said my goodbyes to Judy so I took my dive behind the black wall. Johnny seemed really mad about it, but the prologue made it known that he actually go over it pretty quick and seemed determened to enjoy his new life. Rogue hated him for some reason though.

Basicly after playing 56 hours I felt nothing about how the game ended. That's a pretty big condemnation to me. I played on Stadia and there was much fewer bugs or problems than Bethesda games for example, so my issue with the game is the whole structure and writing. I enjoyed all the romance character questlines, but that's probably 10h max of the playtime, not a very good percentage.

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bigsocrates

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#21  Edited By bigsocrates

@serryl: V. is doomed. The Arasaka ending goes into it a tiny bit more clearly when Anders tells you that your body is damaged on a DNA level and it's like radiation poisoning and there's nothing they can do.

Because in the Arasaka ending Arasaka has used the chip (or something like it) to put Saburo Arasaka in Yorinobu's body V. asks why he can't just get a new body like Saburo did, and Anders says that Saburo was more compatible with Yorinobu because of the family relationship and V. doesn't have any kids, and then adds that V. doesn't have a whole clinic of people dedicated to keeping him alive.

So I think that the way that it works is that the chip's nanites overwrite the brain and also prepare the body to be taken over at a DNA level, but even that's not perfect because this is cutting edge tech and requires constant tweaking and work to make functional. The chip is a prototype and just barely kind of works. V. didn't have any cutting edge tech to help him with the chip and it was also damaged by the way it was treated and it's just wrecked his body far beyond the ability of any ripperdoc or even Arasaka scientist to be able to fix it.

Is this explained elsewhere? No. But the chip is a magical mcguffin so it's no more inexplicable than how the chip can repair V.'s damaged brain (nanomachines!).

I assume that what Alt means by V. going back to how he was is that his personality will return to what it was without Johnny and Johnny won't be in his head, but V.'s body is toast. Of course Alt doesn't really think about bodies so it's sort of in character for her to focus on the software and not the hardware so to speak.

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cstrang

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My first choice was to let Johnny take over, then I went back and did all the others for the trophies and the plat.

I thought the ending was fine-to-pretty good. It did a good job of drawing out some kneejerk emotional reaction from me, but as I thought about it I realized it wasn't really earned on a narrative level. They introduce this kid for Johnny to be nice to for a half hour to leave him with an expensive guitar and a pep-talk. It's a kind of cheap way to make Johnny seem more redeemed/redeemable and sympathetic, which I didn't feel at all during the story proper.

I'm going to be honest and say I didn't particularly care for much of the writing of the main story of this game. I found it really dry and somewhat slow, and it didn't grab me. I think part of that is because I just didn't like any of the main characters. There is some interesting and well-written side-stuff like River's side quests, and some of Judy's, which makes me wonder if part of my dissatisfaction is a result of meddling/cut content because it shows the chops are there.

On a more general note, I will say I did find the intermingling of technology and religion/mysticism to be kind of fascinating and thought-provoking, with Beyond the Black Wall being the afterlife when you look at it through a super-tech prism.

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Serryl

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@bigsocrates said:

...So I think that the way that it works is that the chip's nanites overwrite the brain and also prepare the body to be taken over at a DNA level...I assume that what Alt means by V. going back to how he was is that his personality will return to what it was without Johnny and Johnny won't be in his head, but V.'s body is toast...

Thanks for clarifying. I probably missed 1 or 2 lines of dialog.

So we spend the whole game trying to save V's life by removing Johnny, and the "twist" is that we'll only get another 6 months to live.

Unlike bladededge, I feel this is more anti-climactic than sad. How many people with terminal illnesses today would consider another 6 months of life to be a triumph?

It's strange that Alt even framed it as bad news (or that she, a cyberspace demigod, had overlooked the possibility this would happen). Sure that's an optimistic take, but V is barely functioning by the end; anything would be better.

For me, the "twist" didn't change anything. Of course my version of Johnny still sacrificed himself; that was the whole point of breaking into Arasaka tower.

I guess they wanted to make it a bittersweet choice for players, but it's too forced in my opinion.

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bigsocrates

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@serryl: I think that V.'s deterioration during the game is mostly due to his brain being affected, rather than his body, and Anders says that he should be relatively okay for 6 months but then he will deteriorate fast and die. This is backed up by the fact that Hanako offers to employ V. during this time working for Arasaka, so they expect him to be functional for awhile. So V. is going to go back to being full strength for a bit and then fall apart.

It's a weird muddled ending and it feels hastily written. Honestly the way I expected it to go was either that Arasaka would just overwrite V.'s body with Saburo and send him to Mitoshi or shred him, or that they could halt the progress of the chip and V. could just live with Johnny in his head indefinitely (that would allow you to continue in the postgame after the end rather than being spit back into the open world at a pre-final decision checkpoint.)

I don't know why the body issue isn't brought up earlier by any of the people who examine you or know about the chip except that the game was rushed and clearly they wanted to have "branching endings" as a feature but didn't really have a great idea how to do it.

In terms of how many terminally ill people would see 6 more months as a triumph....a lot would. A lot of people go through tremendous pain in chemo or radiation to extend their lives a few months. Spending time with loved ones and saying goodbye. Checking off bucket list stuff. Just simple pleasures like some food or sitting by the ocean or whatever...these have a ton of value especially at the end of life. Last year my aunt got leukemia and died and I spent a lot of time with her, and we were all desperately hoping for 6 more months of good time with her, which was our best possibility (the treatment didn't work and she died in a few weeks unfortunately.) So I don't think it's fair to discount that as a victory, but it's obviously not what V. wanted, and my aunt was 88 so she knew her time was limited in some way anyway, while V. seems to be in his/her 20s (the corpo background seems more consistent with 30s but I think the game says 20s.) 6 months is far from nothing and every year people go through hell trying to get another 6 months.

But this is a video game, not real life, and video games often offer wish fulfillment, which 6 months isn't. I think the goal of making that the ending was to be consistent with "there are no happy endings in Night City" but I think that the game doesn't think things through clearly enough and doesn't set the table clearly for the sacrifice. If it added some dialog about the body issue and it also maybe had Johnny say "if we go after Arasaka there will be nobody to help you with that chip" or something similar then it might have worked a little smoother.

I also think that a lot of choices and decisions were clearly ripped out of this game (look at the mission "The Pickup" and the fact that there are exactly 0 other missions with that degree of freedom in the rest of the game) so what's left might just be cobbled together.

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charlie_victor_bravo

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@bigsocrates said:

I also think that a lot of choices and decisions were clearly ripped out of this game (look at the mission "The Pickup" and the fact that there are exactly 0 other missions with that degree of freedom in the rest of the game) so what's left might just be cobbled together.

One of the weirdest things was that one mission with the mayor candidate. At the end of it some one hacks you, makes you blind and tells you to drop to whole thing. It is clear that there should be some consequences going against their will but there are none. Not even a text message that says "u f'd it up". It is something that was clearly cut from the game.

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Efesell

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#27  Edited By Efesell

@charlie_victor_bravo: I actually don't know if that is, to be honest. I think that mission ends pretty much as intended. There are no consequences because what you're doing doesn't matter.

It's enough that they let you know that your efforts are nothing.

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Serryl

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#28  Edited By Serryl

@charlie_victor_bravo: Since I completely forgot about that scene*, I suppose I can't argue anything of value was lost, haha. Between that and the stuff you learn from the VooDoo Boys leader, Brigitte, I had guessed the story would conclude with those free A.I.'s supposedly roaming beyond the Black Wall.

For example, what if the Black Wall had actually been breached ages ago and a free A.I. was already pulling the strings in Night City? What if every powerful person was being manipulated like Jefferson Peralez? What if the whole Peralez questline was a ploy to manipulate V?

Obviously, an ending that say, "This is a facade, and machines rule the earth," veers way too close to The Matrix, but it seemed like CDPR was going somewhere with those storybeats. I'd like to think they'll be explored in future releases.

*for reference, the mission is "Dream On", and the warning can be seen at the beginning of this video.

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bigsocrates

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@serryl: I don't think that "A.I.s are manipulating humans and pulling strings" is particularly Matrixy. "This is all a Braindance" or "V. is in Mitoshi but doesn't know it" would be Matrixy, but "A.I.s are a political force" isn't really because meatspace is still meatspace etc...

Worth noting that the Blackwall exists in theory to prevent a Matrix situation (A.I.s taking control of military tech and destroying the world) and Cyberpunk the RPG and I believe the Blackwall predate the Matrix (which drew heavily on Cyberpunk and Cyberpunk's influences like William Gibson)

The Peralez mission does have a couple payoffs (you get a text message and at least in the Arasaka ending there's a video message from Peralez) but it's definitely something that seems like it should have more to it and then kind of disappears. On the other hand I think it adds flavor to the game because it shows how many forces are in the darkness in Night City manipulating and controlling things. Your character is caught up in his battle with Arasaka but Arasaka might not even be the most dangerous thing out there. Wheels within wheels.

Would be a potentially cool thing to explore in a DLC or a sequel though.

The game has a ton of cool touches and atmospheric bits that are obscured by its various problems, unfortunately.

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Afael

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Perhaps the oddest thing with all the endings for me ended up being that Panam ending is most hopeful and given alternatives is probably considered the "good" ending? But its also the ending that gets the most people killed and potentially puts everyone involved on Arasakas kill list at some point in the future.

The suicide ending does have a pretty strong line about V's life not being worth more than Rogues or any of the nomads and in some ways that ending, along with solo mission (which honestly should have been the default choice along with Arasaka) makes most sense.

As for being doomed in 6 months, tbh, how long would V have lived otherwise? Even if chip could have been removed with zero consequences by Alt, V raised too much shit in NC to not get killed. There is something telling that all of NC's "legendary" merks are either dead or sold out to corps.

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bigsocrates

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@afael: That's the nature of Cyberpunk though. Everything is a zero sum game in some way. Your hope comes at the cost of someone else's misery. That's another theme the game explores deeply. The game is full of characters whose dreams get crushed in one way or another. From Peralez who tries to be a good politician beholden to nobody and ends up either captive or a paranoid mess, to Judy who tries to help the dolls and if you actually free Clouds ends up getting them slaughtered, to Panam, who has maybe the most hopeful arc other than River but still gets Scorpion and a lot of her other friends killed.

River is basically the only major character who doesn't suffer serious consequences during the course of the game (and his backstory and what happens to his nephew are awful so it's not like he has a charmed life.)

Every scrap of hope is purchased with someone else's blood...or blows back on you.

As for how long V. would have survived if he didn't have the death sentence...the answer is indefinitely not just because he was a good merc but because he didn't have to stay in Night City. Another element of the game is that it shows that you can escape Night City if you really want to. V. could go be a nomad with Panam, or go hang out in Oregon with Judy or whatever. The only reason you can't leave during the game is because you need to pursue what's going on with the chip.

And even in Night City there are examples of people with long lives who aren't total sellouts. Rogue and Wakako are both old, and they're fixers not mercs, but they've had decent lives. And of course if not for the death sentence V. could have sold out to Arasaka and worked for Hanako. So I don't think that he's necessarily doomed if it weren't for the chip.

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Efesell

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There’s a part of me that wishes the solo mission just outright failed at the end.

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GREASED_LTNG

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#33  Edited By GREASED_LTNG

I originally completed the game going the Arasaka route and really was not a fan of that ending. It seemed unexpectedly grim - being in space for treatment by a shady corporation for an illness that would only prove terminal anyways. I ended up going back to earth to live out the rest of my life. I guess I expected another choice to turn on Arasaka, as I still didn't trust 'em.

I started again from the "point of no return" checkpoint and went the Johnny/Rogue route. Pretty satisfied with the mission, but I was confused towards the end when you have to make the decision on what to do with Johnny. I mistakenly let Johnny take V's body - only because as I walked towards the beam of light that signified Johnny living in cyberspace, V actually pushed me be back and asked "The fuck are you doing?!" So I immediately ran to the tub to give Johnny V's body lol. Apparently I missed some dialogue that explained that V was ok with Johnny keeping his body. Johnny hitting the road in the epilogue seemed like a reasonable character choice, but the relationship with the kid was definitely interesting and completely took me by surprise. Didn't care too much for that one either.

Played it one final time, going the Panam path where I join the Nomads as V. Really enjoyed that one and had I picked that from the get-go, I would have been content and not explored the other endings.

Edit: Just wanted to add - I was playing on an OG Xbox One.

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Fezrock

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I was a female V in a romance with Judy and went with the Panam ending where V goes back to her body. I was reasonably satisfied with how it went down, though sad about the folks I got killed during the final mission. It felt like the writers couldn't quite decide what tone the ending should have. One the hand, there's the "V has only 6 months left" thing, but on the other hand V and Panam both seem confident that they'll find a cure out in Arizona. And also Judy seems like she's getting ready for a long-term relationship with V, not a 6-month journey that ends in heartache.

Now personally, I do lean on the optimistic side. Alt doesn't know everything, she said so herself, and while I've read about the Arasaka ending, I don't see any guarantee that they're on the level. Maybe there is some solution out away from Night City.

My one complaint about the ending is that it made all of Takamura's Act 2 missions redundant, and left all the Arasaka plot threads dangling in a real weird way. Also, I had saved Takamura's life in the en of Act 2, so his end credits voice message to me felt real bad.

Also, I dunno about the other endings, but in this one the very final scene was in third person. Which tells me that CDPR fully understood that third person carries far more emotional weight than first person, and so it baffles me that they decided to make such a story-heavy game be in first person. Especially since, unlike some claims they made in the past, there wasn't really any gameplay need for it.

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#35  Edited By deathfromace

I went with Rogue and as Johnny but sadly the game fucks up the subtitles so it's hard to understand why V gets mad at Johnny for wanting to go with Alt. I picked that path as Rogue died and Johnny took down the corp as he wanted so he has no reason to stay alive. His journey was finally done but the game does not let you go that route for whatever reason and that is crazy.

I enjoyed the ending I got but the fact that I don't understand why V gets mad at Johnny for not taking over is weird as it seems like he would understand...based on how he freaks out if you play it as if Johnny is going to take over. They also do a terrible job at explaining what the last job is that V is going to do. I decided to stay to keep up the good fight of trying to take down corps so I think the last job could have been against a corp and not just doing one last big score.

The ending overall is a letdown based on character motivations getting mixed up and making no sense based on the way conversations can go in the last 10 minutes and the subtitles on who is saying what is broken.

The ending is either broken on what character is saying what or they are trying to do the cool thing on both characters having the same name as they are becoming the same...but that wouldn't actually happen at the end as they are now their own person/personality outside of the body.

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Pnutz83

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Played female V, romanced Judy and went with the Aldecados ending. Absolutely the best ending and it still has a little positivity in it where they are looking for a cure for V. I like to think that there is a chance and she was dying and only had days left to live. Now she has months at least. The relationship between Judy and female V was so well done and now she gets to live with Panam, Mitch and her girlfriend. That feels like a positive ending to me.

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Asylumrunner

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Just wrapped it up, went with Rogue and Johnny, what an absolute bumblefuck of an ending.

The actual gameplay side of things is relatively enjoyable, although it's a little strange to me that Arasaka HQ seems to have weaker security than some random-ass luxury hotel from act 1. Watching Alt tear through at the end was kind of fun, though.

Narratively, though, what the fuck. V's furious at Johnny for giving her the body back, for some reason that I absolutely don't understand, but whatever. I feel like everything that happens after Johnny crosses the pearly gates is a complete non-sequitur, though. V's dying, which, yes, I chose that, but it seems like her relationship with everyone has gone to total shit, including her relationship with Judy completely dissolving on terrible terms for reasons I absolutely don't understand. The one thing in the game I actively cared about, the relationships with the other characters, gets completely obliterated because I didn't want Panam to get shot, I guess. I wouldn't even mind a bummer ending if the game told me this would be the bummer ending. But no, Johnny's dead, Rogue's dead, V's relationship has evaporated, all of her friends are calling her like she's been big-timing them, but I guess I got to be in space.

Looking through this thread, and at some other posts, looks like the Nomad ending is the only one that isn't trash, I'll probably load up a save and go through that instead just to get closure that actually feels like it logically follows the preceding events.

I don't hold this against the game because it's more about my expectations rather than anything the game did, but I was really expecting, if I may borrow a term from another contentious ending, a "Synthesis" option, where I could merge V and Johnny into a single person. It has setting precedence (it's the option I took with the Delamain personalities as well), and I think would have tied in really well to the main theme of the game about the way that people's fundamental identities can change.

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Serryl

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Narratively, though, what the fuck. V's furious at Johnny for giving her the body back, for some reason that I absolutely don't understand, but whatever.

bigsocrates clarified it for me earlier in the thread, but I'm relieved to know I wasn't the only person confused by that scene!

For reference, I just re-watched that specific ending on YouTube and here's the exact dialogue:

ALT: I will not interfere in your personal affairs, but while Johnny has full control, he can do what he wishes.

JOHNNY: Got zero intention of doin' you wrong. We made a deal. I'm stickin' to it.

JOHNNY (V's avatar labelled as "Johnny"): I'd hope so.

JOHNNY: Let's just think a sec... about what to do.

JOHNNY (V): Seein' as how I'm doomed to die, we stick to the plan I gave you - I leave, you stay. Keys to my body are yours.

JOHNNY: No... It's gonna be me.

JOHNNY (V): You lying sack of shit...

From there you can control the real Johnny and start walking to the cyberspace bridge. As you approach the edge, V pushes you and says:

JOHNNY (V): Are you fucking kidding me?

JOHNNY (V): There are no options, you two-faced sack of shit! You're out, I'm in - that was the deal!

The last lines we hear before crossing the bridge are:

JOHNNY (V): Just promise me one thing, asshole.

JOHNNY (V): You won't forget me.

I thought I had mis-remembered, but the subtitles for both characters are definitiely labelled "Johnny". That's what intially confused me about the scene! I can only guess that labelling them both as "Johnny" was meant to symbolize that they're the same person now, but it doesn't work. They're still two independent personality constructs with different voice actors.

Also, notice how in the last few lines Johnny has chosen to sacrifice himself to keep V alive for a little while longer, but V responds with anger and violence. V even says, "You're out, I'm in - that was the deal", which sure sounds like what he should say when Johnny chooses to remain in V's body.

Either this is a dialogue bug OR it's meant to show the two are so entangled by the end that Johnny's resentment at himself (over choosing to keep V alive) is manifesting through V's avatar. However this also doesn't work.

In earlier scenes where Johnny takes over, Gavin and Keanu's voices are overdubbed to symbolize the entaglement. Having V alone say lines that make more sense coming from Johnny-- and labelling him "Johnny" in the subtitles--made this ending way more confusing than it needed to be.

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Asylumrunner

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@serryl: yeah, I remember all of the dialogue, I actually watched it twice because I thought it was bugged. That dialogue doesn't clear up my problem, it is my problem. It doesn't make any sense at all. Ignoring the fact that V never even considers the idea of handing Johnny the keys permanently ever in the 55 hours before that moment, it runs completely antithetical to the entire middle of the game. The entire middle of the game is V finally making connections in the world and finding things to live for, and Johnny tidying up his loose ends and righting old wrongs. It's just not set up at all, thematically or narratively, it comes straight out of nowhere.

Not to mention the fact that basically everything in the epilogue is pure gibberish. The game suddenly snapping back to "on a quest to become a legend the world has never known" gave me whiplash, it's a theme that the game hasn't cared about since the end of Act 1.

I just went back and went with the Nomad ending, and it is significantly better. It feels like much more of a natural progression from what comes before it, and ties in a lot more with what the game's doing thematically with the identity of reclaiming control over your own identity. My only real complaint with that ending is that Johnny's character arc lacks a meaningful conclusion in that ending, he just shows up at the very end to peace out.

At the risk of being the kind of obnoxious person who asks why they didn't fly the eagles all the way to Mordor: why doesn't V just call Rogue and the Nomads?

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ProLurker

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#40  Edited By ProLurker

I just finished moments ago and got the "Path of Glory - Rogue Ending." V flies into space on one last heist, Judy leaves you, etc.

The ending wasn't really what I wanted. I wanted V to be remembered, but not as some kind of heist legend. It felt like a check of a box, and not really something specific to my choices throughout.

Overall, it made me wish for Deus Ex endings where different philosophies come into play. That just felt epic. It made sense to me. This felt somewhat trivial and hollow.

I can't not mention the bridge dialogue and how strange that was. Heh, that felt like a bug, I had to triple check to make sure I was letting V go back not Johnny.

I plan to play again when a new game+ comes out. The beginning 5 or so hours are so good, and the first heist is extremely fun. At one point I played a side mission with the same exact floor plan as the E3 demo a while back, and that bummed me out. This game could've been really fleshed out and something much more impactful imo.

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deathfromace

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@asylumrunner

The only thing I can think of on that part is earlier in the game you can have a conversation with Johnny (I know I did at least) where you say if the roles were reversed you would do the same for Johnny on leaving the body. Maybe the writers intended for that to foreshadow on that happening in this situation where the body is basically Johnny's body now?

For me I got to this part and to me Johnny's story was over as Rogue was dead so he had no more tied and he seemed to care about Alt so as a player it made sense he would go with her as he had no earthly ties.

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Seikenfreak

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#42  Edited By Seikenfreak

Small note, but did anyone else notice at the end of the Peralez missions, when you go to sit on the bench with him, there is a guy standing on a balcony off to your left that's directly facing the bench area? I noticed him after I got the masked phone call to drop it. Scanned him and he's named "Mr. Blue Eyes". I then tried to shoot him in the head (this was before I sat on the bench), because it was the only NPC I saw around and thought he was gonna be some sorta assassin/sniper but my shots did not register on the NPC. Just went through or didn't do any damage.

Don't know if it was relevant at all but it sure as hell fit with the mission tone. Like I was being paranoid and thought people were watching me. Great series of missions.

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@seikenfreak: Mr. Blue Eyes is The Illusive Man. Reaper indoctrination. Some unknown force controlling Peralez. It's a nice tip of the hat to Mass Effect.

I apologize for not reading most of this thread as I intend to see the other endings for myself.

I played as male nomad V who romanced Panam so I chose to ask her for help because of course. Started as a nomad, ended as a nomad, found love along the way. Without knowing much about the other endings I have to imagine this is the "best" ending there is. I'm perfectly happy with it as the end to my first playthrough.

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#44  Edited By mabojun

I've played through most of them and if I had to choose I would say Panam's ending would be my head-canon ending. It especially feels right since I chose the nomad lifepath. However, I'm not sure it's actually my favorite ending or even the most interesting one. My only complaint is that they don't let you keep Amnesty afterward :(

I'm assuming that's a bug because why give us an iconic weapon that late in the game if it's not going to stay in our inventory?

Anyway, I was pretty satisfied with Panam's ending. And honestly, I think that's the happiest ending one could hope for in this game. I also rather liked the ending where you let Johnny have your body. I thought it was appropriately bittersweet and also more interesting because it leaves us with the question of who is Johnny now and what is he going to do next? It's also interesting because throughout the game his character just comes off as a narcissistic asshole whom you probably shouldn't trust. Yet in the end, he actually seems like a decent guy who mourns your loss. I suppose there is the negative that it makes Johnny's character way more developed and interesting than V who is ostensibly the main character--your character.

The Arasaka ending is just depressing and clearly meant to be the "bad ending", but it's also rather interesting in the implications it poses about V's identity without Johnny. Almost as though the only real defining trait V ever had was having Johnny in their head... which may simply be more indicative of how underwritten V is as a character.

I think there's one more I haven't gotten yet where V actually becomes a Night City legend. It sounds kinda neat and I'm looking forward to seeing what that one is about. And it seems to make sense for V's character since his/her thing is wanting to be remembered and becoming a legend. Though I always found that motivation to be awfully vague and underdeveloped... maybe I missed something but V never tells a story or gives a specific reason as to why exactly they want to become a legend. It's just something they want because otherwise there wouldn't be a game, right?

I was a little worried when I heard people saying all the endings were bad but I think they're all pretty appropriate. Consider that a lot of the side gigs and elements of the main story are ultimately about facing one's own mortality and coming to terms with it. So, I feel that by the end, even if V only has 6 months left to live s/he can still be in a place in their life where they're at peace with everything and move on.

I think that's what they were really going for--a journey from being afraid of dying to finally coming to terms with it. The choice is really in how you choose to face that inevitable end. I think that's a pretty cool concept for a story but I agree that the range of choice is rather limited. Also, the main story could have been longer and more fleshed out so as to better flesh out this idea before getting to this critical juncture. Personally, I really felt like they slammed on the brakes with the story pacing right after Act 2.

As a final note, I've noticed quite a few people hung up on the endings because if V does live, s/he lives on as an engram and is therefore not "real" or something. They throw around the term "teletransportation paradox" to justify this but I feel like they don't get the point of that thought experiment. I mean if the engram-copy of V feels and remembers everything exactly as the original up until the point soul killer is applied, but wasn't told that s/he is an engram and was led to believe that everything worked out--would it matter? Does the knowledge of being an engram really change anything essential about oneself if everything else is still the same?

It's an interesting question and one that doesn't have a clear answer--obviously because that's what a paradox is. And I think it's silly that people are getting upset that the V they end up with is somehow a "fake" V.

Anyway, there's a lot more I could say but I feel like I've already written way too much LOL. You have my thanks if you actually took the time to read through all of this!

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mabojun

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@prolurker: lol the bridge dialogue confused the hell out of me too. I wasn't sure what I was actually going to say; based on the flow of the conversation I thought I as Johnny was merely making a suggestion about what to do next. But apparently what I said was "I'm gonna go with Alt into the light" and then V responded with something like "You backstabbing piece of shit, that wasn't the plan!"

And I was really shocked lol! I was like "wtf? Really? I thought you wanted your body back? Shit, V we should've spent more time discussing this."

Luckily you can just choose whichever option regardless of what you said. Still pretty weird tho xD

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Seikenfreak

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Think I've finally seen all the endings but one. Well, not counting if there are other romance ones that have actual events other than Panam's? I guess theres one where you just don't attack Arasaka?

Interesting how I mentioned Mr Blue Eyes earlier, and then he actually appears for one of the endings. Still wasn't clear what his deal was but it was a little intriguing. Also very curious about this son of Rogue's? Is that who Steve is supposed to be?

All the endings kinda had their pros and cons for me personally. I'm honestly not sure what I'd pick as my canonical ending.

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ProLurker

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@mabojun: Days later, and I still think that's one of the strangest dialogue sequences I've ever experienced in a game, especially at such an important moment. Can't wait for others to experience it lol

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mabojun

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@seikenfreak: I agree, I've just seen the last one I was missing (at least I think so) and they all seem pretty mixed to me. I think the one where you become boss of the Afterlife and whatnot felt the most... cathartic? It brought things full circle in a way that was very satisfying to me. Particularly I'm thinking of the moment when you can order Jackie's drink before your final heist. That felt like a really good payoff for something that was seeded way, way at the start.

Mr. Blue Eyes was kind of interesting, though that was the first time I was aware of him so I didn't know what to make of it. I had no idea you could find him earlier in the game. I think I like this ending the best, but if this were a Mass Effect situation where the ending somehow carries over to the next game I wouldn't know which one to pick.

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Seikenfreak

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@mabojun: Exactly. Part of me is like.. Fuck yea, the obvious next level of this would be some crazy shit in space.. And then another part feels like that could always be a nice carrot on a stick. Like, even as a player, we can't reach the height of those super elite rich people. Leaves some mystery. Plus, Neuromancer was kinda the whole space orbital heist thing right? Eh

Then I think about the cyberspace stuff and how that might be a cool angle to explore. Or going to Arizona or whatever. Or I like the closure of Johnny taking the body and just taking off like he did. Rogue dying was shit though. Saul I couldn't care less about, but I found Rogue to be very intriguing and bad ass. And the fact that, if you try the various endings you see how it's also Saul, it takes any weight out of it. I'm like.. she didn't really need to die. It didn't add anything to it for me.

Definitely agree. I like bits and pieces of each one.

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mabojun

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@seikenfreak: I think part of the problem is that the pacing is very uneven. For example, the entire prologue/first act feels like it could be an entire game in itself. In fact, I was really expecting getting revenge on Dex to be a major plot point or at least a subplot throughout the rest of the game, but they just waste him. It was very surprising and weird... And Evelyn felt wasted too. I wish we at least got a chance to figure out what exactly her grand plan was.

And then Act 2 feels like the actual meat of the game and is probably the best part. But when you get to the point of no return (which is pretty much all that Act 3 is) it feels like they suddenly slammed on the brakes. It's very odd... feels like they have ideas for 3 different games crammed in here. I think that's why the endings feel very mixed and all over the place.

I'm not sure what kind of story they were trying to tell, but I think they should have spread it out over a trilogy or something. If nothing else it would've at least given them more time to develop V as a character. Like, all I got from V is that s/he really cares about being remembered, and yet, ironically, they're the least memorable character lol